And if you think that your beautiful country is consumerist, think again because consumerism, the real one, comes with stars and stripes and it’s here.
Anyway, I went to the checkout with my shopping cart full and I'm asked the usual question: “Did you find everything okay?” Cashiers will indeed address you with either the common “How you doin'?”, that is so popular here in Texas, or asking if you found everything ok.
It means “Did you find everything you were looking for?” and it’s repeated like in a script in all shops.
I put the question mark at the end of what it sounds like a question but it really isn’t in real life because Americans ask it without changing the tone of the voice and, honestly, without giving a damn about knowing the answer.
It’s a formality. Do you use many formalities in your country?
What is a proforma for them became a dilemma for me because I started wondering if I really found everything that I was looking for by coming here to Texas.
I left home first, then the UK and Canada and with them my beautiful friends, my family and my country and all the countries that had become ‘mine’, but, here in Texas I did I find the warmth of people (and the weather!), the adventure, the energy I was looking for and the confirmation that life always offers you the opportunity to change, to reinvent yourself that is that new beginning which gives you a new chance.
I must admit I feel lonely at times because the geography of this place makes it hard to meet with friends after work and you need to drive all the time to get to places, often getting stuck in traffic jams.
But also this is Texas. As most people do in America, I often resort to comfort food when I feel down.
I have been hearing more and more often about September blues but I actually have November blues here in Texas as the temperatures start dropping (but just slightly) only in November.
Comfort food can help you at least a little to overcome this temporary sadness and put aside melancholy thoughts.
Of course my first choice of comfort food is Italian food but I have discovered some American food which works great as comfort food too.
The grilled cheese sandwich is awesome comfort food. It is very simple to prepare and tasty to eat, even in all its imaginative variations. All you need is some loaf of bread, white or wholemeal, the kind you use to make toast, and some cheese that melts easily. To be on the safe side, the advice is to always use thin slices, even better if it is Cheddar - the cheese usually used for this recipe. In the USA, bread is usually buttered before putting it in a pan to toast. You can choose to heat it even without butter and wait until the bread is golden on both sides and the cheese is well melted before enjoying your sandwich.
My second choice for comfort food is a Sloppy Joe.
The Sloppy Joe is a sort of hamburger that requires a slightly longer preparation because it consists of ground beef, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.
If you prefer something sweet you can always make a French toast.
The French toast is very popular at brunch time or for breakfast, preferably on the weekend, when you can enjoy it more calmly. But it's also a perfect afternoon snack and comfort food you can always count on. It is prepared by dipping a slice of bread in egg beaten with milk, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Then you heat it up in a pan in which you have previously melted a little butter and within a few moments your kitchen will be invaded by an irresistible aroma of cinnamon. It tastes even better if combined with jam, red fruits or fresh fruit in general.
Whatever your comfort food to go to is, I hope you find comfort in it.